Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mid-Life Lesson #24: Look the devil in the eyes and say, "I'm a child of God. Go away."

Ask and ye shall receive. I recently asked my friends and parishioners (Where? On Facebook of course!) what they have learned from my preaching, teaching, or friendship that might be worth highlighting in these mid-life lessons. An early response offers two lessons.

First, children really do listen to sermons. The picture here are notes a first-grader scribbled in response to a sermon I preached last year. Her mom writes,

"Your message was about giving us the ability/tools to face the devil when he is trying to steer us in wrong directions. She saw me making a note during the sermon and felt the need to jot her own. BTW, my note was 'if you are going to battle with the devil, you better know the Bible better than him because he really knows it.'" 
The second lesson is already embedded in the first lesson, but I'll make it more explicit. The best way to drive out the devil is the Word of God--but be prepared that the devil will also know the words of the Bible, so have a community of interpretation, and the support of the Holy Spirit, available to you as you proceed into battle.

And it is really "one little word" that will subdue him. No need for complex formula. The notes of this first grader will do just fine. Look the devil in the eyes and say, "I'm a child of God. Go away."

Make the sign of the cross, and remember you are baptized. Any way you slice it, you realize right away it's God in Christ and the Spirit casting out the devil. All your little word is doing is reminding you of the power promised and available to you any time you ask.

I'm honored and touched that this note made it to such a prominent place in their household. Can't do better than the refrigerator!


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  2. Lutheran exorcism?